Thematic exhibition

Stage and costume design in modern Greek theater

100 years of scenography in modern Greek theater
Mozart, The Magic Flute-3300,  Μπρούνο Σβενγκλ, In Copyright (InC)
Greek National Opera

The exhibition, through stage models and objects, sketches and theatrical costumes, documents a 100-year journey of the arts of theatre design in Greece.

The journey begins with works by the “father” of Greek scenography, Panos Aravantinos, recognized both in Greece and in Germany in the 1920s.

The 30's for the theater was a decade that launched with the founding of the National Theater and was characterized by the flourishing of scenographic arts in Greece. Theatre design of the time evolved alongside artists of the “‘30s generation”, such as Kontoglou, Tsarouchis, Eggonopoulos, Moralis. Many of the sets and costumes in the exhibition carry their names as creators. Eventually, a native scenographic scene begins to develop, with scenographers with theoretical training and technical knowledge emerging, who creatively grafted the search for the indigenous with European modernism, influenced by movements such as expressionism, abstraction, constructivism and cubism. Color palettes, costume drawings and architectural stage plans, narrate the development of a scenographic vocabulary that satisfies the demand for a vernacular that references ancient and Byzantine art, but also folk art, slum architecture and traditional shadow-theatre.

Set designs, costume sketches and models from the interwar to the post-war period, tell a tale of an economical, thoughtful use of resources. A spartan, minimalist aesthetic characterizes the scenography of the post-war era, balancing the aesthetic of the times with the technical and economic restrictions and managing to transform humble materials in particles of stage magic.